Let’s just totally ignore the High Court’s ruling shall we?

A decision to clear Cameron Slater of Privacy Act breaches could result in all bloggers being exempt from the legislation, the Director of Human Rights Proceedings says.

The director’s lawyer, Simon Judd, told the Human Rights Review Tribunal today there was nothing to distinguish Mr Slater from any other blogger who expressed their opinions on the internet.

-RadioNZ

Nothing? Really? How about a High Court ruling that he is a journalist?

A court’s recognition of WhaleOil blogger Cameron Slater as a journalist reflects the changing media landscape, the Newspaper Publishers’ Association (NPA) says.

Slater has won a High Court nod that he is a journalist and that his blog is a news medium

-Stuff

That is a pretty strong distinction don’t you think?

 But Mr Judd told the tribunal the case could set a precedent and result in every blogger being exempt from the Privacy Act if the charge was not upheld.

-RadioNZ  

Comparing every Blogger to the Blogger who started the most popular Blog in New Zealand is like comparing the kid who plays Rugby with the Captain of the All Blacks. There is no comparison. Yes they both play rugby but one is recognised as being in a totally different league.

He told the tribunal that Mr Slater had failed to provide any evidence about whether he was in the business of news

-RadioNZ

Oh, so a High court ruling isn’t evidence then, got it. It sounds bizarre but that is what Cam had to put up with yesterday all day. He had to listen to circular arguments about how a High Court judge, Asher J, and his eminent media expert and amicus curiae Julian Miles QC, (a man who entered the bar before Mr Judd was even born) somehow got their thinking wrong and that the Director of Human Rights Proceedings is right and the superior court was wrong.

Worse than that it appears that Simon Judd didn’t even read the judgment because the exact same arguments were put forward by the respondent’s lawyer at the time, Matt Karam. An argument that both Miles and Asher J. discredited and ruled against.

The sad thing about all this is that the Director of Human Rights Proceedings wants to slam Cam with a $50,000 fine for telling the truth about a bankrupt and a banned director because apparently it isn’t in the public interest to reveal the truth about his nefarious dealings.

What is also ironic is that the same organisation that initiated this proceeding, the Privacy Commission, also threw out a complaint over Nicky Hager’s breach of privacy of everyone in Dirty Politics. They did this on the basis that a certain High Court judgment by a certain Asher J. found that a certain blogger was in fact media and a journalist which now meant that Nicky Hager could escape sanction.

That’s right, the Privacy Commission who referred Cam to the OHRP for prosecution is the same Privacy Commission who used Cam’s High Court judgment to let Hager off the hook.

It’s a strange topsy turvy world we live in.


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